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#14 Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Where My Elevator At?

(Mirror reflection photo outside the Achilles House elevators, Auckland, 2015).

Standing around and waiting used to be a normal occurrence 'back in the day' before I had the internet in my pocket. Smoking was one way to pass the time in my later teenage years however, as a form of fidgeting I guess. This year I'm trying to be more present by being aware of what's going on around me, so while waiting I just observe and listen to what's happening around me.

This morning I was waiting in the city doing a bit of people watching, following the lives of timid souls traipsing their way to their 9-5 jobs. The footpath I was waiting on was lined with reflective office windows, where passers by took most of the opportunities to check themselves out on the reflective windows. I'm not going to think about the "blue steel" faces people tend to make when this happens (must do this later, probably linked to duck-face selfies...), but link it to an article I read about design thinking.

In the Harvard Business Review article, 'Are you solving the right problems?' by Wedell-Wedellsborg (2017), the author provides an example about occupants in a building complaining to their manager the elevator is too slow. The author describers that most people would look to get the elevator algorithm looked at, or the motor speed adjusted to reduce waiting time. Instead, the author argues that reframing the problem can be cheaper and provide greater results. In this case, the author notes that putting mirrors in or outside an elevator reduces the perceived wait times for occupants, because they are engrossed in checking themselves out. I was reminded today watching all the morning commuters how successful the mirror solution would be, and that I need to remember this concept while solving my own problems. I also remembered I took a vanity shot after a haircut waiting for an elevator in 2015 (snapped, and case in point), yet my "blue steel" requires a lot of work.